Friday, September 9, 2011

Seeing the Beauty in the Ugly

Reflection...I've been doing it a lot lately.  Life...what does all it mean?  What does all this ugliness in life mean?  Why does God take us down roads and strip away dreams that we never thought possible?  Where is God in all of this?

My mind wonders a couple years back.  Flushed and rushed...I had just finished my marathon of a morning.  Wake up.  Feed baby. Get girls dressed. Get attitude on what girls were supposed to wear.  Get myself dressed.  Get girls breakfast.  Get attitude on what's for breakfast.  Feed baby again.  Get husband to work.  Get homework done that I forgot to have Reese do the night before.  Get sack lunch made.  Get snack in book bag. Get girl on the bus.  Feed baby again (she ate a lot).  Get girls in car.  Take baby back out.  Change blowout.  Change clothes.  Put baby back in car.  Start car.  Notice I have poop on shirt.  Stop car.  Go inside. Change again.  Finally we pulled out of the driveway onto our destination for the morning.

I was frazzled.  I was stressed.  I was irritable.  Rush rush rush...went my heart.  My toes curled with stress and my shoulders tensed up like a statue.  My head was beginning to pound.  This was a typically morning.  This was my life.  This is still my life in a sense.

In the car, Finley started asking me the 2 year old questions.   You know the ones even you don't even know the answer to.  You know like..."Mommy why do drive?" "Mommy why do we have to eat?"  "Mommy why do we poop?" "Mommy why do I have a baby sister?"  Why Why Why?

After a two minute nonstop question fest, my irritated self came out.  "Finley, shhhh!  Let's have some quiet time for just a few minutes.  Please be quiet."

I glanced in the rearview mirror...face flustered with annoyance.  The lips of my curly haired blonde sprinkled with defeat.  Her sparkling eyes welled up with surrender.  The quietness was almost deafening.

The morning breeze picked up as the clouds slowly skirted their way across the turquoise sky.  The morning was beautiful.  But I had failed to notice that morning.  Obviously I was failing at many things that morning.

I turned on the radio.  Steven Curtis Chapman filled the interior of van.  I finally let out the first deep breath of the morning.  We came to a red light.

  And then...then the words came.  The words that changed my perspective came.  And they came from my two year old.

As I looked again in the rearview mirror, those just defeated lips turned into lips showing curiosity, amazement.

"Mommy!  LOOK!!  WOW!!!" she exclaimed.  I looked over to where she was pointing.  All I saw was an ugly, stench filled ditch with weeds.  I looked again at where she was pointing.  Surely she saw something I didn't.  But no...her finger and her eyes were pointed directly to this litter infested ditch.

"Mommy...look look!!" Finley pleaded again.

"What is it Finley?" I asked just waiting for some pointless observation.

"Mommy...those flowers over there are dancing!  They are dancing to the Jesus music!!"

I looked again.  My eyes opened...and I finally saw it.  Finally saw the beauty.  The weeds in this ditch that I had just labeled as ugly, had suddenly turned into a symphony declaring the majesty of God.  Wildflowers were swaying in the wind...almost to the exact beat of the music playing in the car.

"Wow Finley...they are dancing!" I exclaimed.  "They are praising Jesus with us aren't they?"  I couldn't stop looking.  The once grotesque stench filled ditch..the one that the car next to me probably didn't notice...turned into a masterpiece of beauty.  A showcase of God's creativity that most of the world would never notice.

I could never pass that ditch again without staring at the "dancing flowers" and Finley would point out that those flowers were still praising Jesus every time we passed.

Isn't that just life?  So many times we fail to see the beauty in things.  As I have been reading the book by Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts I have been challenged in my own life to slow down and find the beauty in things.  Find the beauty in situations.  Find the beauty in what we commonly label as ugly.

Doesn't God's word promise that "He makes all things beautiful"?

But God what is so beautiful about bleeding out a life?  Losing a child?  What is so beautiful about that?  What is so beautiful about health issues...weakness...sickness?

God never promises a life of easy outs.  But He does promise beauty.  He promises Grace.  He promises us Himself.  So no..I can't change my situations.  I can't change the brokenness.

But I can change my perspective.  So my goal in the coming days....even years?  Finding the beauty in everything God blesses me with.....yep...even the ugly stuff.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This is our life....

Steve's been doing the workout DVD's "Insanity".  Have you seen those infomercials?  They truly are INSANE.  He has even talked me into doing some with him.  And I run quite a bit!  This is WAY different. So now it appears it has become a family affair.   The other night I came downstairs to this: free association about my Finley...

I am reading a book right now that when I read the words, it is like the author was inside my mind.  Going through my journey with me.  Reeling over fear and pain of the brokenness of this life right with me.  This book is so so so good.  I know God has placed it in my lap for a specific purpose.  Maybe many of you have read it already, but if not...please read it.  I am not all the way through it yet...but I have a feeling this book could change my perspective  Here is the book:


So thankful that God gives us little gifts like this to teach us, mold us, and encourage us that we are not alone in our journey.

Can I just say that I am so so thankful for my three little blessings?  They make my job as a mom so much fun.  For instance, they always make me laugh.  Take Finley.  Finley is my free spirit.  She is my 70's flower child.  She is a leader---she will not be a conformist in this world.  She is going to take this world by storm.  You know I am not saying that just because I am her mom--even the neighbors say it.  Even the YMCA child care workers are telling me this.  My neighbor's husband was asking my neighbor if Finley was going to school.  She told him she was going to preschool.  He then replied, "Watch out preschool world--Finley will soon be directing the teachers."  HA!  So true.  Then the other day at preschool, the childcare worker came up to me when I went to pick Finley up and said, "Finley definitely won't conform or give in to peer pressure will she?  You won't have to worry about her."  HA....that's why I love that girl so much.

The other day I was explaining to Finley all about the 10 Commandments.  She was really taking all of it in--listening to my every word.  The movement in her eyes telling me she was processing all that I was saying.  As I was explaining the commandment of "Do not lie", she processed it a little more in her head and very matter of fact said, "Mom, you better really explain THAT one to Reese."  HAHAHAHA!  Gotta love sibling rivalry.

Yesterday was preschool orientation for Finley.  She is so excited to be a big girl now and go to "school".  She was thriving as we sat there listening about the upcoming school year.  Thriving as she saw her name on mailboxes and walls.  She is so so excited.  As sad as I am that she is big enough for preschool, I am so excited for her.  She is so ready.  Ready for friends, ready to learn, and ready to take on the world.  I sure do love this girl.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Broken World

It hit me as soon as it left her mouth.  No pummeled me.  The words saturated into my soul.  The lightbulb in my brain went off.  My mom was telling me of a phone conversation she had had with a friend earlier in the day.

"You know, friend," my mom said on that phone call, "all four of my kids are now entering the stage in life where we realize we live in a broken world."

These were words I didn't want to hear.  No I want to keep believing that we live in "DisneyWorld" of sorts and life is somewhat like "The Truman Show."  But, alas, my own life the past few months has definitely shown me otherwise.  Hence my absence all summer.  My journey to joy...has been far from joyous.  Where has my perspective been?  Not on where it should be...

You see, those words that my mom told me that day rang so true because everywhere I seem to turn..there it is.  Brokenness....hard stuff.  Hurt is all around us.  Now I know it's always been that way and now, maybe, I am more cognizant of it.  Or maybe it's because my peers, my friends, my family are now going through some really hard stuff.  Everywhere around us...stories of difficulties, scary things....uphill battles to overcome.

No my friends, we are not in the glistening newlywed stage anymore looking at the world through our love tainted, rose colored glasses.  Nor are we filled with the excitement of that smell and the snuggles that only a newborn baby can bring. seems that we have moved past this.  We are finally realizing that this thing called life....well it's tough.  And...well...I am finally realizing that (ok...I am a little slow) we are not made for the uphill climb and all the emotions that latch on to us like 50 lb ankle weights.

My 50 lb ankle ask?  Ha...that's an easy one.  This weight has been gripped tight on me sinking my feet beneath the muddy surface all summer long.  FEAR.  I hate this emotion...and you know hates me right back.  That ugly thing slithers it's way on me when I am least expecting it. It captures its hold around my neck and strangles me until it can consume me.  And yes...I know I let it.  I have a bad case of the "what ifs".  And then letting my mind take me where that ugly thing is slithering.

You know actually "fear" is one of the #1 commandments God gives. "Do not fear...Do not be afraid." It is mentioned over and over in the Bible.  And yet...we live in a society of fear.  Many things of what we, as a society, do is motivated out of fear:

  • Don't eat junk--fear of getting fat
  • Don't vaccinate - fear of autism
  • don't eat things that could have pesticides - fear of cancer
  • don't stay out in the sun - fear of skin cancer
  • don't ride bikes without helmets - fear of head injury
  • don't let your child watch too much tv - fear of being a bad mom... get it.  Much of what we do...or don't do is all motivated out of fear.  Now I am not saying that we should not be responsible.  God has given us children and our own bodies to be responsible and to treat responsibly.  But, if you are a worrier like me, all of this, all the news media, feeds into my case of the "what ifs".

So I have had to ask myself...."Ok Sarah...what if?"  Life is broken.  We are not made for this life.  We are made for heaven.  Bad things are going to me, to my friends, to my family.  This is life. Is it something I like to talk  Is it something I need to focus on?  So where is my perspective here?  So much of my struggles have been because my perspective is so much on earthly matters...not on the truths that Christ promises me.  My perspective needs to change.  Christ alone is my life.  He is the beginning of my life--my redeemer, my sustainer...and He is the true end of all things...including my life.  My life is not my own.  This life is not about is about the ONE who made me.

So there...there you have name is Sarah and I am a worryholic.  My fear factor scours over every inch of me.  I am working on this....Christ is working in me on this.  Something I am working on day by day...sometimes hour by hour.  So no blogging all summer? I have been vulnerable and the reason...well...I have been trying to survive.  Survive in this thing called life----trying to pick up the broken pieces when it's not even mine to pick up.

And lastly...something that makes me smile....:)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I survived...

I recently turned 31.  Wow..that sounds old.  I have been dreading every birthday since turning 26...I wanted to stay 25 forever.  And when I turned 30....well let's just say I dreaded that.  My husband even through me a "grieving" party with a coffin cake to go with it.  So it really did surprise me how when I turned 31...I was actually happy.  I was really happy to see 30 go away.  You see...30 was a year of major obstacles...character builders my dad would like to say.  I would like to say that 30 sucked!  But I will try to stay positive was definitely a character building year.  Now I know my life is completely blessed.  Compared to many, I know these hardships are minimal....but to me, personally, I have been beat up.  So I would like to write I list of everything I have so far "survived" and am still "surviving" and celebrating moving past 30.  Now I am not writing this list for a pity party.  I am writing this so I can remember how God has sustained me this year.  How I became stronger.  And how I survived it.


- Being scared of losing my mom to a heart attack.  Thank the Lord she survived the heart attack and  is well today and encourages me daily.

- a big move to a new state...leaving old friends, making new ones. (This is not as easy as it sounds).

- Surviving sleep deprivation from a little baby who never slept her first year of life.  The bags under my eyes are here to stay I believe.

- Starting 2 new jobs--leaving the comfort of staying at home full time.  With that 2 big interviews which I hadn't interviewed for a job for like 8 years!  Leaving my girls with baby sitters--trying to transition them to "listening" to someone else.

- Having to Quit one of those jobs--figuring out every thing has a season and that particular job was a season that I was not quite in yet.

- Having to get used to my husband's new job--one in which makes me a "single mom" a lot of the time.

- Some pretty big financial scares.....and realities.....

- The dentist.  Anyone who knows me knows I HATE going to the dentist.  I had to get a crown put on this year.  I HATE being drilled into...especially since they have a hard time getting me numb.

- Disappointments of not being able to a some fun vacations that were planned per above...and letting others down because of it.

- Losing a child....

- Having some major obstacles in our marriage

-having a family member struggling with addiction

-having a family member out of a job

-having to live in fear of a family member taking their life

-having a cancer scare...

-having a "surgery" to get rid of the cancer scare...

-having complications to the above surgery

-having some medical issues I would have never dreamed I could have had

Now...I know I am still dealing with some of these.  I am still grieving.  And I have to say...I have not been "journeying" to joy as my blog is intended to show.  I, honestly, have been horrible in being joyful.  I have been self-consumed through all this...on me.  Not on God.  Having faith...when your faith is REALLY being tested is hard.  And I can't say I have been doing a good job of it.  But God has been teaching me....even when I don't show a lot of faith and it comes out as me worrying and being anxious, God is still FAITHFUL to me.  And moment by moment I am reminded how I need to focus on HIS truth.  For a lot of this "stuff", I have been praying for God to take it away.  For Him to clear up my problem.  It wasn't going away.  And my anxiety about things got worse.  Yes I started questioning God..."Why is this hitting me all at once?  Don't you know I can't take any more?"  I have been drowning...physically and emotionally I haven't been able to stay on top if it.  And then after searching God more, I realized I have been praying wrong.  I need to pray for God to hold me as we ride through this wall.  I can't do it alone...I need Him to hold me.  

Then, just today, God showed this to me...and used my 4 year old little girl to minister to me.  It was thunder storming and Finley runs into my room scared to pieces.  "Mommy!  I'm scared" she cried.  I said, "Finley, it's just a storm.  Nothing to be scared about."  A few seconds went by and I looked at Finley who was really thinking hard.  She said, "Mommy, does Jesus protect me from the thunderstorm."  I replied, "Yes, baby...Jesus protects you from everything!"  Then another thunder hits. Finley says, "Mommy...I can feel Jesus's arms around me right now protecting me."

What a picture God has given me.  He didn't take away the thunderstorm, but to my scared little 4 year..He wrapped His arms around her as they "drove" through the storm.  God...please wrap your arms around me as we "drive" through this stormy season in my life.

I just read somewhere the saying of how Spring is so much sweeter when winter has been so long.  Literally, here in Iowa that is SOOO true, but also figuratively....the blessings God has given me in my 3 beautiful girls and my soulmate of a husband...I am truly truly blessed.  I look at the faces of these loved ones...and wow...I am blessed.  How I hope to never forget how sweet the "spring" of my life really is....

Friday, April 8, 2011

Life Goes On...

When it seems like your life comes to a halt, don't you assume that it does for everyone else in the world? Or is it my own egocentrism that really comes into play in moments of crisis?  I don't know about anyone else after going through a traumatic experience, but I didn't want to go back to the same routine right away.  It just didn't seem right.  I wanted a chance to grieve.  I wanted a chance to heal.  But having a miscarriage is something that I guess culturally seems hush hush.  No one, at least in my circles, had been previously very open about it.  So life just moves about...going on in everyone own's frantic circles...while my heart just stood at a standstill.

The day after I miscarried, my Mom wasn't able to be with me or take my kids.  I was still in some pain, and so tired from not sleeping much the night before.  I am so thankful for God's people and how He uses them to be His hands and feet during times like these.  My dear friend offered to pick up my two girls and keep them ALL day so I could have a day to get back on my feet.  And she even brought me my favorite thing in the world--my Starbucks coffee.  I was so thankful for that blessing.  And the night before another dear friend brought dinner to me.  I couldn't get through this time without the support.

You know..they say bad news comes in three.  So while I was starting to feel physically better on that Wednesday, I received a phone call that turned me upside...and again...made me very anxious.  I am not going to go into details with what this phone call entailed for private reasons, but it made me question many things...and most importantly wondering if my family was going to get through this.  Steve was incredibly busy at work (of course) on this day but after I finally got ahold of him to tell him what was going on, he reassured me...again...that things would be ok.  Although we had no idea why these things were didn't make sense to our human minds.  Especially finding out the day after we lost our baby.

Then a few hours later, I received the third bad news.  Funny how this all happened within a 24 hour time period.  It was the doctor's office.  A couple of my tests came back abnormal.  Meaning I had to go back in for more testing.  UGH...not what I wanted to hear.  Especially after feeling so physically horrible..and emotionally a wreck.  So not only was I now dealing with grief, my heart was beginning to tailspin with extreme worry and anxiety.  Why was all of this happening?  And honestly, if God allowed the worse to happen to my baby was He going to allow the worse to happen to me and my family too?  And lots of questioning of God as to why He would let all this happen in a time frame of 24 hours?

Fear over swept me over everything...everything I could be fearful about...I was.  Anxiety was overtaking me.  I just wanted to be able to have the chance to grieve for my baby, but I couldn't.  Now I was focused on worrying about my family and worrying about what was wrong with me.  My dad said something to me that will always stick with me.  "Sarah, you are worrying because you are asking God to give you the grace for something you don't have."  Don't focus on the what if's...just the facts of what you know NOW...was basically what that meant.  God will give me the grace to get through it.  Again...there was the word GRACE.

About a week and a half later, I got another phone call.  This time it was from my parents.  Some more family things...some more very very serious family things that needed urgent attention.  My heart just wasn't able to take much more...I thought.  But I am still here...

About a week later, I started getting some horrible pain in my left side.  I tried to blow it off.  But by the time I had to go in to get some testing done for my other test, I had to figure out what was going on.  Something, again, wasn't right.  I couldn't sleep I was in so much pain.  I couldn't rest because I was consumed with so much much worry.  I had my testing done and the next day they scheduled me for an ultrasound.  More waiting....more worrying.

One of my great friends gave me a stack of notecards with verses on them.  Those have been my lifeline during this past month.  I read them over and over.  One of my favorite ones she gave me is :

Exodus 14:14.."The Lord will fight for only need to be still."

I still don't understand why God was doing this all at once...bombarding me with a bunch of things at once.  And a few of the things that were and still are going on...I may never understand this side of heaven.  But I do know--God will give me the grace to get through it.  GRACE.

The ultrasound came back ok--still dealing with affects from the miscarriage.  My testing...well, I have to go in to get further treatment.  Not what I was wanting...but it is what it is.  Am I sad about EVERYTHING that has happened within my own family and my family as a whole?  Yes...  Am I still grieving the loss of my baby?  Of course.  But the fact is....I am still here.  And most likely, although I don't quite feel it yet...I am probably stronger.

"To the Lord I cry aloud, and He answers me from His holy hill.  I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord SUSTAINS me." Psalm 3:4-5

One thing that has been so amazing through this whole process is that the Lord has been using His people to be Himself with skin on.  What I mean is...God has been calling up all my "intercessors" even without my knowledge to pray for me, to encourage me, and to lift me up.  The blessings that I have received from my friends and even those who I don't know very well has had a lasting impact on me. I see now how I never fully understood how to serve other people.  Through these people who have stepped up and have walked alongside of me through this journey, I have a great idea of what serving others should look like.  I am so grateful for all the encouragement, hugs, cards, dinners, phone calls, random messages, and prayers that God's people have done for me...and it truly shows me how God is calling up all my intercessors to help fight for me.

And well....Life does go on.  And will I....:)

And well...I am even more thankful for these three blessings in my life..thank you God for them!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shiloh [meaning God's Gift]-Conversation with God

I LOVE naming babies.  It is one of the best things about finding out that you are pregnant in my mind.  I love thinking of names of my babies and looking through the loads and loads of books of baby names.  And then I love taking these names to Steve and having him roll his eyes at me.  So obviously once I found out I was pregnant, the name search began.  I would search the internet and look at books, but even before I started doing that, one name in particular was sticking out in my head.

God obviously wanted me pregnant.  We were preventing pregnancy and honestly, may be too much info, but the one egg I had dropped in two years somehow got fertilized.  God obviously was giving me the greatest gift He could.  So with that, I presented Steve with a name I wanted if this baby was indeed another girl.

"Steve, if it's a girl, I really like the name SHILOH.  It means God's gift.  And obviously, beyond a shadow of a doubt, God wants us to have THIS gift."

Steve thought about it for a moment and said, "Well, I'm not sure.  Let's think about it."  I hadn't gotten him convinced yet.  Plus, I knew he was thinking I was jumping the gun even thinking it's a girl because he quickly responded, "You know...I could have made a boy this time too!"

A few days went by and I started feeling periods of "morning sickness."  Then one Friday afternoon, I was so sick that as soon as Steve got home, I had to go to bed.  I cried to him saying, "I can't handle this for 6 more weeks if I get sick like this."  Oh how I wish I could take back those cruel words.  How I wish I could still feel that tinge of morning sickness.

The very next morning I woke up and was alarmed....I was spotting.  Now I know that this can be fairly normal for early pregnancy but it was nothing I had done in my other pregnancies and I was spotting too much for my liking.  Of course since it was the weekend, I had to call the doctor on call to put my  mind at ease.  The Doctor told me that this can be normal, but to call back if my bleeding got heavy.  She told me to lay low all weekend.  And that I did.  But my emotions did not lay low. 

I thought I would wake up Sunday and it would all be gone.  No..the cramping was horrendous and spotting even more.  I was wanting to hold out until Monday...especially since I was not "heavy bleeding" like the Doctor noted as to when I was to call back.  I felt horrible all day Sunday and knew in the back of my mind, that I was losing my precious baby.  The anxiety I felt was even more horrendous then the cramping I was feeling.  I was asking where God was in all of this?  Why couldn't I feel His comfort?  All I kept hearing was a still small voice telling me, "Trust me Sarah...Trust me".  But how could I?  Why wasn't He telling me everything was going to be ok?  Why couldn't I feel that peace that it was going to be ok?  I kept asking God to speak to me...but I could feel nothing.  I could hear nothing except trust.  Then I asked God, "Please...God.....please just give me one word to focus on today.  One word, Lord to make the object of my focus on this day."  Thinking that God would give me a word such as "peace" or "It's ok".  But no...the word I got was "Grace".  Grace?  How was I supposed to take that?  But ok, Lord, I will focus on your Grace in this day...knowing you will give me the Grace to get through this and this day.  But I wanted assurance that I was going to be OK.  I wanted assurance my precious baby was going to be OK.  I didn't hear it...I heard, "Grace...Sarah...Trust".  Unfortuntely,  the anxiety continued....

Monday, I woke up...even more bleeding.  I called the Doctor's office first thing.  The cramping was, at this point, incredibly painful.  The doctor wanted me in at 10:45.  My mom came up to be with me and stay with the other girls so Steve could go to the Dr.'s with me.  I told my mom, "Momma, I am so scared.  I will be shocked if there still is a baby here."  I haven't called my Mom, "Momma" in years.  But I was scared.  I was a scared little girl who had no idea what was going on with her body which was in so much pain, or with a child that I loved with all my heart even though we hadn't officially met.

We got to the Doctor's office and I was trembling.  The Doctor walked in to do the ultrasound and said, "You know, when I got the phone call about this this morning, and since the dates of the size of the baby didn't match up to your last period, I was concerned.  You are now at a high risk for miscarriage."  There he said it.  He even knew that most likely, he would not find that precious babe in my womb that we had just seen a week earlier bouncing around.

Imagine my surprise that right away, I saw my baby on that ultrasound screen and the heart was fluttering away!!  My heart was OVERJOYED.  Even the doctor was shocked.  The doctor went on to say, "And not only is the heart still beating, but the baby has doubled in size since last week!!  You now have an official due date of 11/1/11..just like I said last week!"  My heart rejoiced and immediately I gave thanks to God above.

But why was I bleeding?

The Doctor didn't know. He replied, "It could be early signs of a miscarriage...or it could be numerous other things.  Many women do bleed while pregnant.  It sounds cruel, but right now you are just going to have to wait it out.  Come back in a week to do another ultrasound."

And with that, he gave me the most precious pictures of my 4th baby.  I was overjoyed thinking...well if the baby doubled in size from last week surely there is no way that it could be a miscarriage.  For once in 3 days, my anxiety lessened up a bit.

On the way home from the Doctor's Steve looked at me and said, "Ok...if it's indeed a girl...her name is SHILOH.  She honestly is a true gift after all of this."

Shiloh it was going to be.

I had asked many people to begin praying for me at this point.  Praying that I would stop bleeding and that the horrendous cramping would go away.  I could  barely walk I was in such pain.  But it appeared the bleeding wasn't slowing down at all.  The anxiety started creeping back up again.

As I was rocking Harper to sleep that night in her room, I started crying out to God.  I was thanking Him for the gift of my dear baby and the precious picture I head in my mind of the little heartbeat I saw with my own eyes...but was also praying for comfort...for the bleeding to stop and the cramping to go away.  Now I do believe that our God is a relational God....I believe that God wants to have actual conversations with his children but many times we don't stop to listen.  But as I was rocking my little one year old to sleep, God appeared to me.  Now I didn't literally see God...but I knew of his presence..I could feel it...and most importantly, I could hear Him.  My 20 minute actual conversation with God will stay with me forever.  It went something like this...and I feel that God reaffirmed to me that indeed this baby was a girl...

First of all, He told me again the word, "Trust" and then he gave me a word picture.  It looked something like this:

Then He want on to say to me,
"Sarah, your little girl, is in my hands.  Nothing can harm her.  I am taking care of her right here in my hand.  Fear not my child and trust me.  I will give you the GRACE you need at this time."

I said, "But Lord, why am I still in pain...why aren't you taking away this bleeding?"

He said, "In time, Sarah.  For now, you just need to focus your life on Seeking me with your WHOLE being.  Everything else will then fall into place.  With your seeking me, you will receive the wisdom to get through difficult circumstances."

I said, "Lord, I want this baby with everything I have.  Thank you for blessing me with this 4th blessing.  Please help me to be the mother to her that you would be an example, and to raise her to love you with everything she has."

Then the Lord specificially told me something I will never never forget....

He said, "Sarah, this little baby is very very special.  I cannot wait for you to meet her..."

After 20 minutes of rocking Harper and listening to my Lord, I felt calm.  I felt the peace I had been yearning for.  And I felt like everything would be ok.  I thought I would be able to hold that special baby in my arms and meet that special baby on this side of earth....

But the next morning, I knew something was drastically wrong.  The bleeding was very heavy and I was having some other symptoms that I won't go into.  But didn't God tell me just a few hours earlier that He was taking care of my Shiloh?  Didn't God tell me she was one special baby?  Why hadn't these symptoms gone away?

I had to teach class that morning.  The last thing I felt like doing was going to do a Intro to Psych lecture for an hour and a half standing on my feet.  I could barely walk, let alone stand.  I got to class, and I knew deep down inside that I was losing my precious baby.  I couldn't handle being in class.  The panic started overtaking me.  I was short of breath.  The room was spinning.  My face was hot.  I felt like I was going to throw up or pass out...I didn't know which.  I needed to get out...and get out quick.  I dismissed the class after only being there for 10 minutes.  I couldn't do it.  The peace I had just felt hours before was out the window.  I was in pure panic mode.

My mom made her way up and I called the doctor's again.  They couldn't get in in until early afternoon.  Again more waiting.  Again more agonizing.  Again more pain...physically and emotionally.

We got to the Dr.'s and right away as she was doing the ultrasound, I knew that my precious Shiloh was in the Lord's Hands...literally.

After searching for my precious baby I had seen just hours before, the Dr. proceeded with the agonizing news.  "Yes, I am sorry but you have had a miscarriage."

The baby I had just seen fluttering in my belly just hours before had vanished.  The baby, that special baby, I had a conversation about with my Lord, that I must have misinterpreted that I would see here on earth, was literally in the Lord's hands. 

My heart desperately grieved.  There would be no swaddler diapers, no fresh scent of a newborn, no sleepless newborn nights around 11/1/11, and no little voice whispering , "MOMMA" for the first time from the lips of my little Shiloh.

After the Doctor left, I clung and cried on Steve's shoulder.  I cried, "But Steve, we just saw her yesterday.  When did it happen? "

And Steve responded,
"Probably during your conversation with God.  He was literally taking care of her Sarah...right in His very own hand."

My heart ached....and unfortuntely the anxiety just lingered....but oh what God has been teaching me here...I will share what else happened soon....